Why Writing Erotica Is So Hard (no pun intended!)

erotica001They do say that Erotica is the easiest fiction to write. I don’t know who ‘they’ are but, speaking as a writer of erotica for over 15 years, I’d say that ‘they’ are only partly right. True, it’s pretty easy to write a story if you don’t care much about your audience. If you don’t think about being exciting and interesting for the people who have to read what you’re writing, putting words on the page is just about as easy as vomiting.

I read somewhere that there are only supposed to be 28 different stories in the whole of fiction. In Erotica, it’s probably far less: after all, we don’t have the luxury of explosions and shoot outs (though, on second thoughts, perhaps we do :)).

A male friend of mine used to write porn for British skin magazines back in the 1970s. Stuff like readers’ letters, and ‘true life confessions’. He told me there were 12 basic stories on the list the pornographers’ sent to their writers for guidance. Because these stories were aimed at the people who bought the magazines — predominantly blue collar/ working-class, middle-aged men — most of the scenarios involved someone like that being seduced by an attractive younger woman. In the parlance of the times, she would be a ‘nympho’. Someone who found uneducated, middle-aged, sweaty, men attractive. Presumably only a nymphomaniac would fit that bill.

My friend (now a respected author) gave me a couple of examples: a plumber is called to a house to fix a leaky radiator. The ‘woman of the house’ greets him in her underwear and demands he gives her immediate sex. A bus driver discovers a single woman asleep at the end of his route. When he tries to wake her, she reveals that she finds him unbelievably attractive, and demands sex. It’s basically the same story, different locations.

You could call that kind of short fiction ‘writing by numbers’. The modern equivalent of the ‘readers’ letter’ is the Amazon erotic short story. Amazon and Kindle have revolutionized fiction writing and publishing. It’s like the Punk Revolution all over again. In the old days, an  editor decided who was a good enough writer and who wasn’t. Now the editors have been removed from the process. Anyone can now write and publish a book. It’s generally a wonderful thing, but it does mean that there’s loads and loads of low quality ‘tat’ online.

Nowhere is the situation worse than in the world of Erotic Fiction…

Someone – usually a man – decides to make stacks of money writing erotic fiction. He hears that women are the best customers, so he hones in on that market. For some reason, all men who do this seem to think they have to pretend to be a woman. They think of a name that, to them, sounds sexy. Something like Trixy Two-Tits or Mary Pussy-Holes: those may be extreme versions, but you’ll find similar examples on Amazon.

As a woman, I’d want to tell them that women might quite like to read stories written for women by a man. They might even be more forgiving of minor faux pas, if the man was upfront about not being ‘one of them’. But they never ask!

I write the type of stories I’d like to read. Maybe I’m a sick, perverted bitch, but I like to read about younger girls being fucked by older guys. That’s how I lost my cherry: to a man over three times my age! As far as I know, I’ve not been adopted, nor have I ever had sex with my father, but the idea of an authority figure (stepfather, policeman, whatever) having sex with a virgin turns me on. So, that’s what I write about.

One of my books got a 2-star Amazon review that said: “The sex scene was good. Now having said that, the rest was absolute drivel. What kind of girl is okay with how this little story ended? None, that’s how many. Hey authors, get your crap together and at least make the stories ‘graspable’ if not believable.”

Well, Cindy, this kind of girl was fine with the ending, because she fucking wrote it!

Here’s the book in question. Please tell me what you think.

You can download it for free here:

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Welcome To My Website

Thanks for stumbling on my new website. It’s brand new at the moment, but I’ll be updating it and building it up all the time. Please return for regular blogs on subjects that interest me. I am a woman who has given up her job in order to write Erotic Romance fiction in the general area of 50 Shades of Grey. When I read E.L. James’s bestselling ebook I was excited and intrigued. As you’ll probably see from the content that is to come, I am a sexually submissive woman in the bedroom, but strong and powerful when dealing with the outside world.

My favorite authors of the moment are S.K. Quinn, Sylvia Day Maya Banks, Marisa Bennett, Jamie McGuire and Gillian Flynn, though this changes all the time.

Please bookmark this page and stand by for action.

Visit the About Penny James page to find out more about me and you can email me via the Contact Me page.

Here’s a great interview with E.L. James recorded at an event at SoHo House, NYC: